A Perspective on Children's Mental Health: From Childhood Trauma to Adult Wholeness

May 10, 2012 :: Austin Mardon
Moderated by Bob Campbell

SACPA in Partnership with the Lethbridge Public Library

A Perspective on Children's Mental Health:
From Childhood Trauma to Adult Wholeness

Mental Health Awareness Week is May 7-11, 2012. In addition, in many parts of Canada and the United States May 9th is Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. The week is dedicated to raising awareness of issues related to mental illness and mental health. One in five Canadians will experience mental illness at some point in their lives.

Our speaker will share his personal journey as he discusses the impact of experiencing the stigma of having a family member with mental illness, personally being bullied in school and suffering the effects of the early symptoms of schizophrenia. As an adult, how does one cope and go on to lead a fulfilling life of service?

Speaker: Dr Austin Mardon

Austin Mardon was born in Edmonton but raised in Lethbridge where he finished his degree at the University of Lethbridge. While an undergraduate geography student, he was accepted as a field scientist on the ASMET NSF/NASA sponsored Antarctic meteorite recovery expedition. His descent into mental illness slowly started after he returned from Antarctica suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was able to complete two additional graduate degrees in the USA before suffering a complete breakdown, and was subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The first thing Austin was told after being diagnosed was that his life was over. However it was not, as he continued on to finish a distance PhD and then established Prosper Place Clubhouse in Edmonton, a place where adults with mental illness can safely learn to live with their illness. He has also served on numerous committees and boards. Currently he serves on the Premier’s Council on the status of persons with disabilities and the Alberta College of social workers.

Dr. Mardon received the order of Canada in 2007 and has received high awards from SSC and CMHA. This year he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta and the Medal of Honor, highest award for a non physician, from the CMA. Austin Mardon and his father Ernest have collaborated in writing several books on Alberta's history. He lives in Edmonton with his wife Catherine and his Bassett hound Gandy.

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